Halloween is this week. Not a holiday I enjoy.
As much as folks look forward to this celebration, I become such a Debbie Downer when it comes to Halloween.
For a few reasons.
- It’s gone from being playful and kid-oriented to being more adult attractive and frightening. I remember when I’d dress the kids as storybook characters like Pippi Longstockings, complete with orange pigtails that stuck out. Or in the rushed years, making them little pirates with whatever was on hand. Now costumes can cost a fortune and dressing your child in a brown trash bag with a big M on it to go as a chocolate M&M isn’t cool.
- I’ve a tender conscience. I’ve got too wild an imagination not to have nightmares littered with the horror of what I’ve seen.Talking to seven-year-old Isley, of the amazingly creative mind, she admitted that seeing these things gives her night terrors as well.
- It’s the second biggest holiday for decorations after Christmas. Not crazy about blow-up ghouls and bones protruding from makeshift graves in yards.
- Halloween ushers in the Christmas season. Thanksgiving is dismissed apart from the Pinterest people.
- Teeth. I watch my grands inhale sugar-laden treats and realize dentists hit a bonanza treating end-of-the-year cavities.
- Not crazy about the really big kids coming around with pillowcases and little to no attempt at costumes. They, too, want their sweets.
- History. We lived in an area where there were legitimate witches close by, and we saw things I’d never want any child to see.
- Serious FOMO issues. If everyone else in the neighborhood has lights on and is passing out candy, I don’t want to be the bad guy that shuts off my lights and hides in the back room.
- Scary people. Those who might take advantage of little kids by giving questionable candy. As a kid we got homemade popcorn balls and taffy apples in our bags. Those now would be the first things pitched when going through the night’s haul.
- No viable alternatives so kids whose folks don’t want them to trick-or-treat don’t feel like the zombies their folks won’t let them be.
Creative costumes that don’t have the capacity to contribute to fearsome things under beds or in closets would be my choice. (I do remember a party where some guy came as the head of John the Baptist on a platter–blood everywhere, dripping down the white sheet that draped from his platter. Inventive.)
The innocence and fun of homemade princesses and hoboes have disappeared.
The norm now is to dress up as demons and witches, and in three-year-old Ryken’s case, possibly a zombie pea-shooter.
I’m not even sure what that is.
October 31 is also Reformation Day–faith founded on grace. Recognition that our hope is in Jesus, not rules. I can celebrate that. Or wait a month and observe Thanksgiving and focus on being grateful for what I have.
Gratitude, turkey and pumpkin pie.
Can’t dress that up with more than thanks.